Can star filly achieve win from the draw?

Top Cambridge filly Silent Achiever will face a tough obstacle to overcome in her bid to make her own piece of history at Rosehill tomorrow.

Silent Achiever has drawn barrier 17 in the Group I $A500,000 Rosehill Guineas as she leads a New Zealand charge which also includes the Cambridge galloper Sangster, winner of last year’s Group I Victoria Derby at Flemington.

“It is something I can’t do a lot about,” trainer Roger James told the leading website www.racingandsports.com.au. “She’s going to get back in the field anway. It will test whether she’s good enough.”

Silent Achiever has thrived since her impressive win in the Group I Telecom NZ Derby at Ellerslie earlier this month and will endeavour to become the first filly to win the Rosehill Guineas since 1989 and just the fourth since 1960.

Cambridge-based James McDonald, New Zealand’s champion rider, has been aboard Silent Achiever since injury struck the filly’s regular rider Vinnie Colgan. But the Silent Achiever camp has opted for leading Australian jockey Hugh Bowman for the Sydney engagements.

Bowman has had a lot of luck with Cambridge three-year-olds and is certain to be impressed by Silent Achiever, who is best described as “a freak.” James is leaving the riding tactics up to Bowman, though it will be a surprise if the filly is ridden handy.

Silent Achiever has won five of her seven starts and her last four outings have been in open three-year-old features. As well as the Derby, she has won the Group II Championship Stakes and Group II Avondale Guineas, both at Ellerslie, and the Group III Waikato Guineas, at Te Rapa.

Silent Achiever arrived in Sydney last Tuesday and James says she has settled in well.

While Silent Achiever has drawn wide in the Rosehill Guineas, fellow Cambridge runner Sangster has fared very well with barrier seven.

“You can’t beat barrier draws, especially at this level when there’s not much between the field,” said Sangster’s co-trainer Trent Busuttin. “I was desperate to get a good draw and have him tucked up sixth, seventh or eighth and racing with cover and chasing something. I’m more upbeat since the barrier draw.”

Sangster headed to Sydney from Melbourne last week and goes into the Rosehill Guineas with a last-start third behind Highly Recommended and Ethiopia in the Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley. That was Sangster’s third run back from a break and he appreciated the step up in distance.

“Danny (Nikolic) felt he really blew out around the corner at Moonee Valley so the horse did well to stick on for third,” said Busuttin. “This run should tidy him up nicely for the (AJC) Derby.”

It has yet to be decided whether Silent Achiever will be an opponent in the AJC Derby or will take on her own sex in the Group I AJC Oaks.